September 4, 2013 - 15:45 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Israeli police said they have arrested seven Palestinians after clashes between stone-throwing demonstrators and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem's Old City, The Associated Press reported.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the clashes erupted Wednesday, Sept 4 when some 300 demonstrators tried to block a group of visitors from reaching a sensitive hilltop compound revered by both Jews and Muslims. He says masked demonstrators began to throw stones, prompting security forces to move in.
He says some demonstrators sought refuge inside the nearby Al Aqsa Mosque. Police did not enter the mosque, and no one was injured.
The compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. Known to Muslims as the "Noble Sanctuary," it is Islam's third-holiest site.
Rosenfeld says security has been heightened ahead of the Jewish New Year holiday.
The first direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in three years were held in Jerusalem on Aug 14. A senior Israeli official described the talks as "long and serious" but no statement was published.
Expectations about the latest talks are extremely low.
Although no timeframe for these talks has been set, the U.S. has said that final-status negotiations will be held for nine months.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indicated that Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state will be among the first issues, whereas the Palestinians have said borders and security top the agenda.
The Palestinians want their state to include land captured by Israel in 1967, but some 500,000 Israelis now live in settlements built on the occupied territories.
The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.